THE OL’ LEADOFF QUESTION
I suppose this beats talking about Mark Prior or Kerry Wood injuries. But it’s still a little aggravating. I’m talking about year 3 of Lou Piniella’s favorite question, “Will Soriano bat leadoff?”. At least it seems under consideration.
From the Trib:
“Soriano told reporters at the Convention he was OK with any move because persistent leg problems have slowed his running game. Piniella asked Soriano about it later that day.
“He said, ‘Lou, you can do whatever you want,’ ” Piniella said. “So we’ll see. To me, he’s still my leadoff hitter. I love him in the leadoff spot. But we can see how it looks. We’ve got plenty of time in the spring to see where things shake out.”
Asked about a possible switch at the convention, general manager Jim Hendry was noncommittal.
“Who’s out there that you’re going to say, ‘He’s going to be our one guy,’ and you move Sori down a little bit,” Hendry said. “We haven’t found a situation where that’s the guy for sure.”
Piniella mentioned Aaron Miles, Ryan Theriot, Kosuke Fukudome and “little Fontenot” as potential leadoff hitters who could supplant Soriano.
Hey, glad Soriano saw fit to tell the manager to do whatever he wants. Sheesh. Anyway, here’s how I would order those players in preference of who I’d like to see leadoff:
- Fukudome (vs. RHP)
- Theriot (vs. LHP)
I still don’t see the lure of Aaron Miles. He’s an aging middle infielder that had never reached .700 OPS in any season until last year. He’s never walked more than 38 times in a season. He does not run well. He doesn’t look at a lot of pitches. He hits into a lot of double plays. Can we just stop the idea that he should leadoff? Can we stop the idea that he should be handed the starting job at 2B?
Fukudome, Theriot and Fontenot all work pitchers and see a lot of pitches. They also have better speed than Miles. I like Fontenot better in the 2 hole or somewhere else, but if it came down to Miles or him to leadoff I would choose Fontenot.